Why Interpersonal relationships are important

My thoughts: Amid modern technology, let's encourage our children to go out and be with other people (the ones who will have positive influences in his/her life). 
Nothing beats face to face communication, a hug or any form of human touch to let someone know that he/she is not alone.
In the book "Happiness in a Troubled World" by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler, His Holiness stressed the importance of being with people, of having a sense of community in order to lift people from depression.
We were not born to be alone, but rather to reach out, to touch, to love and to be part of our human family.


PHL tops cases of depression in S.Asia

By Vicente W. Villavert
Reprinted from Philippine Information Agency

The  Philippines has the highest incidence of depression in Southeast Asia, according to Assistant Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial of the Department of Health who was in Iloilo City to campaign on the prevention of suicide.

DOH Assistant Secretary Ubial said that  depression leading to a suicidal behavior is a major public health problem.

Ubial said during a press briefing with the Iloilo media that a study conducted in the Philippines  in 2004 showed that of the 90 people who are depressed, only one third will seek help. The other one third will suffer  the symptoms but are ashamed to seek help, and the remaining third will suffer the symptoms but do not even know that there is something wrong with them.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines depression as a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in an individual's ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.

Ubial said that there is a need  to develop and implement an awareness campaigns, with the aim of increasing awareness of suicidal behaviors in the community, incorporating evidence on both risk and protective factors.

“The families and friends of people suffering from depression are equally important, and they need to know and understand the illness to enable them to respond and provide constructive support to their love ones during the difficult times,” Ubial said.

The DOH assistant secretary emphasized that there is also a need to reduce stigma and promote mental health literacy among the general population and health care professionals.

According to the WHO, approximately one million people worldwide die by suicide each year. This corresponds to one death by suicide every 40 seconds.
 Dr. Venus Serra Arain, psychiatrist from the National Center for Mental Health said that a study on suicides in the country was only “conducted in risk areas like the National Capital Region, Cavite and Rizal,” emphasizing the need for a sustained funding for suicide research and prevention.

Another DOH partner in the advocacy on the prevention of suicide is the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation headed by Ms Jean Margaret Goulbourn, a noted fashion designer, entrepreneur and wellness advocate.

The Natasha Gouldborn Foundation (NGH)  was established in 2007 in memory of her daughter whose death was caused by depression.

NGF saw the need to deliver the information and education drive at a much faster and wider scale and has likewise developed two programs.

Gouldbourn said the first program has to do with the development of a curriculum for the Information and Crisis Intervention Center, and the second program is the continued observance of the World Suicide Prevention Day. The NGF has partnered recently with the Philippine Psychiatric Association and several schools nationwide for a wider scope of the program.

The take action campaign against suicide will also target efforts not only to reduce risk factors but also to strengthen protective factor, especially in childhood and adolescence.(JCM/VWV/PIA 6-Iloilo)

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